Fri, Nov 16, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Dengue fever cases show no sign of abating: CDC

'WORRYING' Almost 1,300 cases have been reported this year, more than twice last year's figure, and so far colder temperatures have failed to cut the infection rate

By Angelica Oung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Even as residents in the northern part of the nation start adding layers against the increasingly chilly temperatures, the number of new dengue fever cases in Tainan has shown no sign of abating, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said.

In a press release on Wednesday, the CDC described the situation as "serious" and "worrying."

CASES

As of Tuesday, 1,293 confirmed cases of dengue had been reported this season -- more than twice the number for the same period last year.

Despite false alarms, there have been no fatalities associated with dengue fever this year.

"Don't talk to me about how the dengue problem is supposed to go away in the fall," CDC Deputy Director-General Shih Wen-yi (施文儀) told the Taipei Times yesterday.

"The conditions at the moment are still very suitable for mosquitoes in the south," Shih said.

This year's outbreak has centered around Tainan City and county.

EFFORTS

The CDC has been continuing anti-dengue efforts there in an effort to prevent the disease from surviving the winter, as it did in 2002.

Dengue fever is usually wiped out during the winter months and reintroduced by overseas visitors who are carriers of the disease.

However, when the disease manages to survive the winter, the following dengue fever season is more severe, Shih said.

"Efforts to clean up potential mosquito breeding grounds are going at full speed," Shih said.

The CDC called on individuals who come down with the fever to stay at home as much as possible and for communities to cooperate with CDC efforts to eradicate mosquitos.

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